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Section II, Article 11

Fernand de Varennes

From: The Rights of Minorities: A Commentary on the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

Edited By: Marc Weller

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 17 April 2024

Indigenous peoples — Religion — Minorities — Right to language — Human rights remedies

This chapter comments on Article 11 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM). Article 11 consists of three sections that address specific, and in some ways symbolic, aspects of the protection of minorities. Article 11(1) refers to the right of persons belonging to national minorities to use their first name and surname in their own language, and to have these officially recognized by state authorities, a right now understood in human rights terms to be based on the right to private life. Article 11(2) refers to the right to the public display of signs, inscriptions, and other visual forms of a private nature written in a national minority language. Article 11(3) indicates that ‘in areas traditionally inhabited by substantial numbers’, parties should have local, street, and topographical names in the national minority language. None of these sections can be described as revolutionary, yet their presence in a separate provision would appear to have been an attempt to link the importance of language within the identities of individuals and communities, and the need to address this in a more direct and precise way.

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